About Hearing Loss

Understanding hearing and hearing loss

Sound waves travel into the ear canal to the eardrum where they are converted into sound vibrations, and passed through the middle ear bones into the inner ear, the cochlea. There are thousands of tiny hair cells inside the cochlea, which convert sound vibrations into electrical signals and send them to the brain through the auditory nerve. This tells the brain you are hearing a sound.

How Hearing Works

At the apex of every hair cell lies a small patch of stereocilia, which rock back and forth when sound vibrations are present. When sound is too loud, the stereocilia can be bent or broken, causing the hair cell to die, and removing that source of signal to the brain. Once a hair cell dies, it never grows back. High frequency hair cells are most easily damaged, which is why people with hearing loss often have the most difficulty hearing high pitched noises, like some speech or birds chirping.

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is not conducted efficiently through the outer ear canal to the eardrum and the tiny bones of the middle ear. This type of loss usually involves a reduction in sound level or the ability to hear faint sounds and can often be corrected medically or surgically.

Some possible causes of conductive hearing loss include fluid in the middle ear, infection, allergies, perforated eardrum, impacted earwax, presence of a foreign body, or a malformation of the ear.

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea), or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. This type of loss cannot be medically or surgically corrected. This is the most common type of permanent hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss reduces the ability to hear faint sounds.

Even when speech is loud enough to hear, it may still be unclear or sound muffled. Possible causes of sensorineural hearing loss include illness, ageing, head trauma, exposure to loud noise, genetics, or drugs that are toxic to hearing. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This occurs when there’s damage in the outer/middle ear and the inner ear or auditory nerve.

Hearing devices work by amplifying tones and sounds in the range that is lost so that you can hear them again.

BHC personal hearing amplification devices are pre-programmed to help in common listening environments so they are ready to use right out of the box and there is no need to have them adjusted by a hearing specialist.  

Simply order the hearing device that is right for you and try it for 30 days risk free.